Introduction: Duct/k Tape Belt Case for a Mobile Device (iPod/iPhone, Pocket PC, Etc.)

About: I'm a Computer Science undergraduate at the University of Southampton, UK, as well as an all-round computing, Linux and electronics enthusiast.

This is a belt case that I have made for my HP iPAQ 214. I had bought a belt case from HP, only to find that it would fall off my belt when I was least expecting it. But, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and this is the result. It should be easily adaptable to different sizes of device.

My idea for the design was to sandwich the device between two pieces of flexible plastic for protection and rigidity, and then encase the whole thing in tape.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

 - Plastic or other tough material: this can be anything that will give the case some rigidity, but must still bend to allow you to remove the device. I used the cover of last year's student planner from my college. You could also try card, a maybe part of a plastic milk carton.
- Duck/duct tape (obviously)
- Sticky-back Velcro or other fastener that you can fix to the duck tape. I found mine in the Haberdashery section of John Lewis.

- Scissors
- Soft pencil
- Ruler

Step 2: Cut the Plastic

First, position the device in the corner of your sheet of plastic or rigid material, and mark its widest and longest points. Use a ruler to draw a rectangle from these marks, and then copy it. Cut these rectangles out and round off any sharp corners.

These pieces of plastic will become the sides of the case.

Step 3: Assemble the First Layer of Tape

Place a strip of tape along the edge of one side. Place the device on the plastic and wrap the tape around to the other side of the device. Cut the tape at the edge, leaving a bit of slack, then stick the other side onto that end of the tape. (The pictures should explain better.)

Repeat for the other end of the plastic, followed by the central parts. Snip off any excess tape.

Step 4: Add the Side Tape

Next, attach pieces of tape to the ends of one of the sides, with the sticky side facing the same way as the rest. Now turn over and wrap them around the device (picture 2). Holding them like this, fold the other side over on top of them. You want to have the two sides in line with each other, which takes a few tries, so don't stick too firmly to begin with.

To finish this part off, close the gaps in the corners off with a bit of tape.

Step 5: Add the Outside Layer

Now, cut a piece of tape long enough to wrap around three sides of the case with about 1cm to spare, and stick it to one side of the case, at an end. Have about 5mm sticking over the top edge and the end. Wrap it around (keeping it straight) and snip the edge where it bends around corners. Fold the resulting flaps of tape around the corner of the case (see third photo). This will keep the corners rounded, and stop the edges of the tape showing.

Repeat this process for the other end of the case, and the central parts, then fold the excess tape over into the case.

Add a loop at the back of the case for a belt, sticky side out, and then cover it with another piece of tape. This piece should be as long as possible, to wrap around the bottom of the case to the front. Also add a piece that goes through the loop and all the way around the case. Generally make the belt loop as strong as possible, as all the weight of the case and device will go through this.

Finally, cover the ends with tape.

Step 6: Make the Flap

Cut some pieces of tape long enough to go around the top of the case, and half of the front, with enough to stick to the inside. Then stick one to the back of the case, on the inside.

 Next, cut a piece of plastic about as long as your case and a centimetre or two wide, and stick it to the end of the tape, leaving a bit of excess. Stick another at the other end, and as many as you need in the middle. Then fold the excess tape over the plastic. Stick more tape length-ways along the flap to cover the sticky parts, folding the excess over as before.

Step 7: Add the Velcro

Finally, cut a strip of Velcro tape (hooks or loops) as long as the case. Peel off the backing and stick it to the end of the flap. Now cut a strip of the same length from the other type of Velcro, and fasten it to the first. Peel its backing off.

Now put your device in the case and close the flap so that the second piece of Velcro sticks to the body of the case. Push firmly to make it stick well.

Step 8: Finished!

Now the case is finished.

If you don't like the one-colour look, I came across Hummer_head's Duct tape laptop skin instructable. The same approach might work quite well on this case... please send in a photo if you try this.

Happy sticking, and don't forget to vote in the Duct Tape Tough contest!

Duct Tape Tough Contest

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